Are there areas of homeschooling life that have been weighing you or your family down since the start of the school year in the fall? January provides an opportunity to have a fresh start. Here are a few New Year’s Resolutions for Homeschooling Moms that may help life go better.
1) Be Kind to Yourself
We homeschooling moms may be just a tiny bit prone to overstretching ourselves. In trying to take care of our husbands, educate and parent our children, manage our homes, and engage in outside volunteer or paid work, we sometimes forget to take care of ourselves. With everything else going on, who has time for that?
The truth is, with everything on our plate, we have to take time for ourselves. If we don’t, our inner well soon runs bone dry and we don’t have anything to give anybody and all our families get is a tired, worn out mom ready to blow up at the slightest provocation. Nobody wants that.
I know – it isn’t easy to make time for ourselves. There is always something to be done and someone who needs us. So, start small. Give yourself permission to have at least 10 minutes to yourself a day to do something you enjoy.
2) Pray More and Worry Less
I’m as guilty of worry as the next homeschooling mom. It is so easy to get stressed. What if my children aren’t learning enough? What if they never get a good job? What if my children would be better off with someone else as their teacher? Yes, especially on bad homeschooling days, the worries come crashing in and play an endless loop in the brain.
Remember that God gave you your children. He is their primary parent. Pray every day for your homeschool, for your educational decisions, and for your parenting, then trust that He will show you the way, one day at a time. When the worries come invading your day, turn them over to God.
3) Stop Comparing Yourself to Other Homeschoolers
No matter how perfect a homeschooler’s life may seem to be on social media or at the local co-op, you are only seeing a small portion of their lives. They may (and probably do) have troubles that you know nothing about. Everyone’s crosses are different.
It can be easy to become discouraged when reading posts about how wonderful someone else’s life or how smart their children are when you have been struggling to simply make it through the day. When you start to compare your life, move away from the social media. Take a deep breath. Focus on something good (even if it is only one thing!) that happened today, and say a prayer for that mom you were envious of. Even if it doesn’t look like it, everyone can use a prayer.
4) Improve One Troublesome Area of Homeschooling
What is one area of homeschooling that you are struggling with? Does your schedule need some tweaking? Is there a particular subject that a child is struggling with? Is your toddler wreaking havoc as you are trying to do math with an older child? Pick one thing – just one – and try to improve that area. Research online for suggestions, ask your homeschooling friends for advice, and take it to God in prayer, then implement a change. See if it helps. Small changes can make a big difference.
5) Cultivate Relationships More than Academics
Yes, academics are important, but we are parents first. Our children most likely will not remember even half of the academic facts that they learn in a given year, but they will remember that we spent time with them, that we prayed together, read books aloud, played games, cooked together, shared meals, and were always ready to listen. Our children will be our children long after the last textbook has been put away. In this new year, remember to prioritize the relationship first.
Homeschooling will always be challenging, but periodically it is a good idea to stop, breathe, evaluate, and adjust. January offers that opportunity. May your New Year be full of blessings!